May 5, 2014 | Persian
Proceeding with Persian!
Enough of this review period. Time for another language.
I wasn’t expecting to begin a new language until maybe mid-June, as I have a backlog of products to review, but suddenly I just couldn’t take it anymore! I needed to try out another language.
The short list included Persian, Swedish, and Swahili. Persian won. In recent months I have been doing a lot of Arabic practice on Memrise, and I wanted to take advantage of my knowledge of the Arabic alphabet while it is fresh in my mind. So I picked Persian and began four days ago, on May 1.
The First Materials to Arrive
I already had Pimsleur for Persian, and materials have begun arriving to me via Barnes & Noble and Amazon. So far I have the two shown here and have starting reading the one on the left, which is Basic Persian: A Grammar and Workbook. The authors are Saeed Yousef and Hayedeh Torabi, and the publisher is Routledge.
So far I like it, but if I didn’t have my knowledge of Arabic (such as it is), I would be overwhelmed. Generally this Routledge series is ideal for people who already know something about (1) language in general and (2) the language in particular that a given book is covering. The series just isn’t all that basic.
As you can see from the picture, the materials on the right, which are from Living Language and include both a book and CDs, allude to Farsi, not Persian. Farsi and Persian are the same thing. Not long ago on a Facebook language page I saw an animated—no, heated—discussion about the correct terminology for the language.
I won’t go into the details now, but I am going to go with Persian.
Unfortunately, the Living Language book component is designed for people with bionic eyes. I personally do not have bionic eyes, and the font for both the English and the Persian in the book is too small for me. I may not be able to tolerate it.
My third Persian product acquired to date—Pimsleur—is called “Pimsleur Farsi Persian,” so they get both terms in there. Meaning I officially have a product for Persian, a product for Farsi, and a product for Farsi Persian.
To my great dismay, Pimsleur has only 30 lessons for this language.
Therefore, from the outset, I ordered more additional products than I usually would have. Persian has been expensive!
I ordered Assimil. I ordered a book about Persian in French. I also ordered a book about Persian in German. Oh, wait! As I am typing these sentences, I have just received an email announcing that I have something in the mailroom. Please stand by while I go see what it is.
The Routledge Introductory Persian Course
Okay, I am back. And I am sad. It is a book I had forgotten I ordered: The Routledge Introductory Persian Course.
I should have read the description more carefully before buying it, because at first glance, it doesn’t look like my kind of book. More like a book for a college class, kind of textbooky. I will try to keep an open mind, but I am skeptical.
As usual when I explore a new language, Pimsleur is an important starting point to help me get a basic sense of how the language operates. I have so far gone through lesson 4 for Persian, but I think I will have to go back to the second lesson. The sounds are not too hard, but the word order is a challenge for my brain’s wiring, as Persian clauses are subject-object-verb rather than what for me is a much more comfortable subject-verb-object structure.
I am extremely excited to be beginning this language. I have been curious about Persian for years, ever since I was at UCLA studying comparative literature!